Bali Trip 2014: Day 11: Day Tour (Fredy)

What really Happens In Bali?  Well if you believe TV and mainstream media it is nothing but drinking and crazy risk taking.  Well here is our version – stay tuned for our quick 2 week escape from Australia heading over to Bali and Kuala Lumpur.

So after spending two days doing not much in Sanur we were looking forward to getting out and about today – plus catching up with our good friend Fredy for a day trip.

Today’s Program:

  • Breakfast
  • Fredy – Driver with Distinction Day Trip
  • Nusa Dua
  • Secret Beach
  • Padang Padang
  • Uluwatu
  • Bajra Sandhi Monument
  • Bali Arts Festival
  • Special Dinner
  • Spa & Dessert

*Quite a bit happening today – enjoy.

Breakfast

First up we popped out to grab some breakfast before Fredy was due to pick us up.  We tried out this lovely looking place across the road The Glasshouse.  This is definitely not a cheap place to have breakfast but the food was presented beautifully and they served fantastic coffee. 

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Lovely setting – indoors and outdoors.

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The Benedict Bagel – Eggs Benedict

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The House Breakfast – More food than 3 people could eat – but I gave it a good shot.  Loved the bread, so much nicer than your average slice of toast.

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Fantastic Drinks – the Orange Juice (served in a mason jar as all good Hipster drinks are served now) the Coffee with a lovely stick of cinnamon as a stirrer.  Really nicely made coffee.

All up for 2 Breakfasts, 2 coffee, 1 juice, 1 Iced Coffee – Rp280k.  That should keep us going all day.

Fredy Tour – Driver with Distinction

You have probably heard a few times now how much we love the Drivers with Distinction company – run by their leader Dean these guys are all amazing drivers with genuine passion and knowledge of Bali.  Our #1 driver is Fredy.  We have driven with Fredy every time we have been to Bali the last 3 years and always enjoy his tours and his lovely sense of humour.

In all our exploring in Bali we hadn’t been down south yet so wanted to head down and explore the area around Nusa Dua and South Bali.

Nusa Dua Area

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I can see why some people love Nusa Dua – it was so clean and sanitised I couldn’t get over how green everything looked.  Reminded me of driving around Singapore.  Almost like you are in another country.

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This is the big statue they are building in the Nusa Dua Garden – pretty cool area (complete with helipad).

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One of the main spots to check out is the lovely Water Blow.  It is basically a rocky outcrop that at high tide is a really cool Blow Hole.  The swell rushes in, hits the water and shoots up into the air.  Sadly it was only still a fairly low tide when we got there, but still got a great chance to look at the area.  Somewhat disconcerting walking on the path noticing the railings had all been bent over from the strength of the water…..

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Got a couple of shots of the water rushing through.  Goodness knows you wouldn’t want to fall in – that swell was pretty intense.

Secret Beach (Pandawa Beach)

The not so secret beach of Pandawa Beach was next up.  This is a glorious little beach that appears like it was almost carved out of the limestone cliffs.  There is nothing around it you drive in through some high cliffs and then bang you are on this lovely little beach.  It is a definite day trip – very few places nearby to stay.

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From the top of the cliff – looking down to the beach.

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You are not going to be short of a meal and a drink. Along the beach are a number of little Warungs, you can also hire a chair on the beach for about Rp50k per day.

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Nice to actually see white sand in Bali – I don’t know about you but that looks like a seriously attractive place to sit and enjoy life for a while.  As you can also see the water is pretty calm, it is similar to Sanur in that there is a low reef area then the breakers are about a hundred meters away.

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A rare shot of me on this blog – with my Balinese Brother – Fredy.

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This is a really fantastic landscape – would love a nice house up on that cliff.

Padang Padang Beach

Next up we headed down the road and checked out another lovely somewhat famous beach – Padang Padang Beach.  This place is really quite a small beach – and can get very very busy – but the view is pretty amazing.

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Reminded me a little bit of Phi Phi Island in Phuket.  Glorious clear water and lovely sand beach.

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Quite a reasonably looking surf break off in the distance, I can understand why it is a popular spot with Surfers.  I am also sure that if I actually knew anything about surfing I would be able to tell you if it was actually a good surf break or not…

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Plenty of options for you to hire an umbrella and get a few cold drinks – there was certainly a few ladies baking on the beach who looked like they may have been out too long!

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The gentle relaxing steps down to Padang Padang Beach – don’t get too claustrophobic.

Uluwatu Temple

Another of the “Big” temples – one of the 9 directional temples in Bali.  The actual temple is not accessible to tourists but the views are pretty magical.

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Do watch out for the Monkeys they can be a little aggressive – so make sure you don’t have any food or loose articles about you.  They didn’t cause us any trouble but we had Fredy to scare them away for us.

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Part of the temple buildings.  The temple is perched atop of a huge cliff, really spectacular place;  Very popular of an evening for sunset and they also have Balinese Dancing in their stadium.

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Here is the boss himself – Fredy.

Bajra Sandhi Monument (Hero Monument)

We had had enough of the South for now so headed back into Denpasar city – for all the times we had been to Bali we have really only just passed through Denpasar so were keen to check it out a little bit.

Fredy took us to the wonderful Bajra Sandhi Monument.  This is definitely somewhere most tourists don’t go, infact I think the whole time we were there we didn’t see another tourist.  It is a monument and museum dedicated to honouring the struggle of the Balinese people over the Dutch during their occupation of Bali. 

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It is only about Rp20k per person to enter.  There are 3 main areas within the monument and then 3 floors within the main building.

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From the top floor of the building there is a lovely lookout that offers 360 degree views of Denpasar and you can see all the way back to Kuta and the South towards Uluwatu.

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What a glorious panorama.

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The spiral staircase up to the top lookout level.  The ground floor has an amazing gallery featuring photos and stories from the Dutch occupation of Bali.  I must admit despite having been to Bali a few times I had no idea about the extend of the Dutch occupation of Bali.  It was amazing to see these images and learn a little about it – also to learn the story of the man the airport is named after – I Gusti Ngurah Rai.

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Now this might make some of you snore or run with fear – but the second level features an amazing display of 33 dioramas tracing the history of Bali from the beginning of the Balinese Kingdom, through the Dutch occupation and the struggle for independence.

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They will also teach you a lot about Balinese customs and traditions.

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And rest assured – it is all written in English as well as Indonesian (and Balinese Sanskrit)

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Once you have looked at all the displays inside spend some time walking the courtyards the gardens are a lovely place to sit for a while.

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Bali Arts Festival

During the Month of June in Denpasar is the Bali Arts Festival, Fredy suggested we stop off and have a look.  It is basically a huge festival that brings together the various different regencies of Bali – they all display their unique Arts, Dance, and food.  I liken it to a Balinese version of the Brisbane Exhibition or Royal Easter Show. 

It was funny though – I ask Fredy did he come here each year, and he replied “Only when my Mum makes me…then I have to look at the crafts…” – great to see that the same as Australia, kids hate going to look at the art displays at the Exhibition.

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There is a whole month long program of Dance and arts displays – it happens once a year, so really if you ever wanted to get the best initiation into Balinese culture and dance this is your place. 

It also gives you the opportunity to experience all the different local foods, as each regency of Bali will tell you their food is better than other areas.

Dinner

It was dinner time and Fredy was kind enough to invite us back to his house to share a lovely meal with him – prepared by his mother.  Was an amazing experience to be able to sit and share a meal with Fredy (and then his boss Dean popped over for a chat as well).  It was a lovely honour and a joy to meet his family.  Now we just need to find a way that we can buy/rent the house next door to keep being able to enjoy his Mother’s amazing cooking.

Back to Sanur

After a lovely day we headed back to Sanur – after all this sun and excitement I needed to get myself a massage – I mean I had been a whole day thus far without a massage.  So I popped into Angel’s Spa and got a massage.  Meanwhile my wife went and bought some more jewellery (and didn’t write down the name of where she bought it from), and then some awesome products from Bali Taza Organic Food.

We rendezvoused back at Art Cafe to get a quick bite of dessert.  Yep we hit up that glorious Chocolate Lava Cake – Famous across the internet as the best dessert in Bali.  And it was not disappointing. 

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It also gave Dan a chance to get in some more Pimms! Rp300k

Well that was it for the day – off to bed – all this sightseeing and excitement was just too much.


Liked anything you heard from today’s blog?  Here is the summary of places we visited and their websites (where I could find them):

Food

Fredy Day Tour (Bali Fredy – Drivers with Distinction)


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